Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ask a Chola

A few weeks ago, I noticed my friend posted a link to an article that talked about a recent online scandal between the infamous YouTube "Ask a Chola" comedian and a concerned viewer...as battle between the two unfolded, the concerned viewer told online audiences everywhere that the "chola" in the videos was not in fact a "chola," not even an ethnic-Mexican person...she outed the "chola" as actually being a young white woman named Chloe, living in a gentrified section of Santa Ana, a city in Orange County largely made up Mexican peoples. Aura, the woman who accused "Ask a Chola" of being an impostor and for ridiculing Chicana culture, sent a heated message on Facebook to all of the people who followed "Ask a Chola," asking of them to contact "Chloe" and tell her the damage she is doing to our communities...

After watching a few of the "Ask a Chola" videos, along with writings on the battle between Aura and Chloe, I began to wonder how people impersonate the Chola archetype within the media...Debra Wilson and Nicole Sullivan of Mad TV have done hilarious renditions of the chola image as Lida and Melina...Even though Debra is African American and Nicole is white, their representation of the chola did not seem to garner as much negative attention as other people in the past who have attempted to do the same, such as Gwen Stefani's "Luxurious" music video in which she dresses as a chola, with thick red lipstick, large hoops, and over-defined eyebrows...

My question would be, who is a chola? How does a chola act, dress, talk, etc.? But most importantly, who has the right to be a chola?


  1. First of all, this video is disturbing. I think its pretty obvious that this girl is faking it. I think the fact that she is not a "real" chola and that she is trying to explain chola history or culture is really messed up. Her accent is super fake, you can just tell. I know that there are a ton of people who dress certain ways in which others may assume that that person is gang affiliated but a lot of times its just what's fashionable in certain areas. You can dress however you want but to create a video that circulates the internet where the whole world can access this video when all is being shown is misrepresenting chola's, I don't think this is acceptable. I really don't think this girl was trying to send a clear message out to anyone except that Chola's kill and its good. I have never in my life heard about this. She even tries to justify killing by saying that the only reason why we see death as bad is because our minds are engulfed with eurocentric views on death. I'm sorry but I think there's a clear difference between being afraid of dying (a natural death) and being killed violently by a chola. Some people have never even heard of a chola so it becomes extremely problematic when someone who has had no exposure to Chola's sees this video and takes what is being said as true. Comedians on MadTV are totally different in the sense that they are known for playing on certain stereotypes but they are comedians and that is what many comedians do. This girl shows no sign of being a comedian or being satirical in any way, she appears to be trying to act seriously.I didn't find the video humorous at all, I think it was a waste of bandwidth on the internet.

  2. I find that the idea of chola itself negatively propogates stereotypes about the latino culture; it creates an image that becomes so ingrained, through the medium of pop culture, that over time, it becomes an apparent reality to the masses. Pop culture is interesting in the sense that it actually establishes and subconciously infuses the generally percieved sentiment through the viral production of such pieces, be it youtube videos, tv shows, magazines,etc. The image of the 'chola' with her violent tendencies, heavy makeup, tweezed eybrows, and tight clothing continues to fuel a negative and racialized image of Latinos that is masked in (cruel) humor and comedy. I agree with the above poster that it is not humorous and even the attempts at satire are detrimental- because satire itself disguises the harsh and insenstive insults brimming under the surface.